We do a lot of online learning and game playing in our household. As a result I have a very cyber savvy first-grader. There is no bad time to teach internet safety to your child, and while we presently do not let her chat online (no matter how much her online fairy game may want to facilitate swapping of property pixie to pixie) the day will come when we eventually relent.
As a result we've been working on a Q & A format to get her familiar with scenarios that may or may not come up once she gets into a situation where she is actually interacting more and doing different actions than her fairy wand touching things.
Here are some of the questions we ask – but not all...
- While chatting online with some friends that you know and some others you don't know, the phone rings, and its someone you were online with in the game but not someone you know in person. The person sounds pretty awesome but there's no way you gave him/her your phone number as you know Mom and Dad would kill you (figuratively of course) for giving out your number to strangers. How do you handle that?
- You are playing your favorite game, and someone starts saying a bunch of bad words. What do you do?
- A Stranger starts asking you personal information, like what you look like, where you live, what schools and programs do you go to... what do you do – do you talk to mom and dad or do you just tell the stranger these things.
- You notice your cousin has her phone number in her away message, and you know its her home phone number. She's just a couple of years older than you – is this ok to do?
Internet safety can not be taught too early...take the time with your child today, and save yourself some heartache later.